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Levant Company handbook and book of remarks

Call Number: MS E101


This collection consists of two volumes associated with the Company Merchants of England Trading to the Levant, or the Levant Company. One is a book of remarks, providing a register of orders and letters from the Levant Company to its Consuls in Smyrna dating from circa 1730-1732, and the other is a commonplace book providing a collection of 193 Company ordinances, statistics of trade and manufacture, political documents affecting trade, descriptions of manufacturing, and handy lists.


  • approximately 1719-1720; 1730-1732 [covering earlier dates]


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Levant Company

When charters for the Venice Company and the Turkey Company lapsed, Queen Elizabeth I of the England authorized the charter for a consolidated organization called the Company Merchants of England Trading to the Levant, or Levant Company, in 1592. This occurred a few years after England signed a treaty with the Ottoman Empire, giving English merchants better access to trade with that Empire, in competition with the French.

Trade expanded in the early 17th century, despite piracy and anti-Turk rhetoric from King James I of England. Membership in the Company averaged around 300 merchants, each of whom took an oath only to send merchandise to the Levant on his own account and not to consign merchandise to any but the Company's own factors, or agents. The Company's governance included a court or board located in London and two elected consuls in Izmir (now Smyrna) and Constantinople (now Istanbul).

Membership in the Company began declining in the 18th century, and the Levant Company was dissolved in 1825.


2 Volumes

Language of Materials


Physical Location

MS E101

Physical Location

MS G17

Physical Location

MS P186

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Hoffman-Freeman "Consignment 1" item 2; Hoffman-Freeman offer of March 2, 1970.

Guide to the Levant Company Collection
Levant Company handbook and book of remarks
Finding aid prepared by alh, July 2, 1970; alh, October 13, 1994. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2005. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2019.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Levant Company handbook and book of remarks, MS E101, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States